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Will the Dam Break in 2007?

The world survived 2006 without a major economic catastrophe, despite sky-high oil prices and a Middle East spiraling out of control. But the year produced abundant lessons for the global economy, as well as warning signs concerning its future performance.

Unsurprisingly, 2006 brought another resounding rejection of fundamentalist neo-liberal policies, this time by voters in Nicaragua and Ecuador. Meanwhile, in neighboring Venezuela, Hugo Chávez won overwhelming electoral support: at least he had brought some education and healthcare to the poor barrios, which previously had received little of the benefits of the country’s enormous oil wealth.

Perhaps most importantly for the world, voters in the United States gave a vote of no confidence to President George W. Bush, who will now be held in check by a Democratic Congress.

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    Abolish the Billionaires?

    Edoardo Campanella

    Even many of the wealthiest Americans would agree that the United States needs to overhaul its tax policies to restore a sense of social justice. But, notes Edoardo Campanella, Future of the World Fellow at IE University's Center for the Governance of Change, such reforms would not be enough to restart the engines of social mobility and promote greater equality of opportunity.

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